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The Autohub Group turns 25 by adding a premium EV brand to its portfolio

By Kap Maceda Aguila

AT THE DOORSTEP of the new millennium, Autohub came into being, and lost no time expanding its footprint from one dealership (Ford) into a considerable stable of brands. Twenty-five years hence, the Autohub Group has 22 companies affiliated with it, 18 vehicle brands in its distributorship or dealership ambit, and a further 28 car accessory marques whose products it exclusively sells here.

“It’s been 25 years, and a wonderful experience,” declared Autohub Group President Willy Q. Tee Ten in an exclusive interview with “Velocity” on the sidelines of the company’s anniversary bash and display at the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig. “We’re very happy with what we’ve been able to accomplish — from just one dealership to where we are today. We’re super happy, we’re super proud, and it’s a humbling experience as well to be part of the Autohub Group,” he continued.

Aside from featuring all of its affiliated brands at the BGC Central Square recently, Autohub also seized the opportunity to announce its signing of the distributorship agreement with Zeekr — a premium electric vehicle marque under the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. In a release, Autohub said, “The partnership marks a significant milestone in the expansion of Zeekr in the Southeast Asian market. Moreover, it underscores Autohub and Zeekr’s shared vision of a cleaner and greener future through high-quality and eco-friendly transportation options for Filipinos.”

Added Zeekr Vice-President Chen Yu, “The Philippines represents a key market for Zeekr, and we believe that the Autohub Group’s strong market presence and commitment to sustainability make it the perfect partner to help us bring our innovative products to Filipino customers.”

Revealed Mr. Tee Ten to “Velocity,” “When I learned about the Zeekr brand, I went to the factory, and test-drove its vehicles. They have fantastic cars. There was no doubt: We wanted to be the distributor of Zeekr in the Philippines. We wanted to negotiate with them and (secure) pricing, allocation, and everything else. The brand is so beautiful, and we are so happy that we got it. I want to be the ambassador of Zeekr here in the country.”

Autohub, he continued, is a “big advocate” of electric mobility. “We’re very happy that the government has come out with EO12 (which temporarily modifies the rates of import duty on electric vehicles, parts, and components under Section 1611 of Republic Act No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act) to exempt electric vehicles from duties and excise tax. I hope they could do the same thing for electric scooters as, right now, scooters have taxes and duties, and we’re strongly lobbying to exempt them. If we want to help the environment, we should give the same incentives to four wheels as well as two wheels.”

Autohub revealed that the Zeekr 001 Standard, Zeekr 001 Flagship, Zeekr X Premium, and Zeekr X Flagship “will all be available in the Philippine market very soon,” and the Zeekr 009 will be launched by the third quarter of the year. No pricing has been announced.

“As far as the future of Autohub is concerned, we’re always looking for brands to help the business and our brand image,” maintained the executive. “As long as there are good brands out there we’ll always be open to explore and see if they can be part of the Autohub family, and I hope we can also be part of their family as well. The possibilities are endless. We just continue to look and be aware of what’s going on.”

He concluded, “I think that the government has to take the lead in rolling out public charging stations. It’s not going to be a quick growth; it will happen step by step. The government shouldn’t wait for the consumer as the consumer shouldn’t wait for the government. The two should work hand in hand to assure the growth of the EV sector in the Philippines.”

For more information about Zeekr and Autohub Group, visit http://www.zeekr.ph/ and www.autohubgroup.com or call 0920-955-7999 or 0917-597-3322.